Photo above: Berkeley Public Library South Branch © Richard Friedman 2013
pgrading aging streets and storm wa-ter management systems is an ongoingchallenge and opportunity. When Berke-ley voters approvedMeasure Mlast year,a $30 million bond measure for streets andstorm water system upgrades, it providedfor accelerated street paving and inte-grated green infrastructure improvements,including installation of permeable paving,rain gardens, and swales. Specic improve-ments will be approved with community in-put in fall 2013. The bond funding augmentsCity General Funds and CountyMeasure B funds dedicated for street work.These green infrastructure measures areconsistent with the City’sWatershed Man-agement Planand are designed to pro-tect our streams and the Bay by absorbingrainwater and reducing runoff. The streetpaving work will be guided by the City’s“Complete Streets” policy to ensure thatthe upgrades accommodate the needsof all roadway users, including cyclists, pe-destrians, persons with disabilities, motorists,users and operators of public transit, andemergency vehicles.
aking energy efciency upgradeshelps businesses save on utility billsand boost their bottom line. To honor Berke-ley businesses that are taking the lead inenergy management, and to encouragemore businesses to do the same, the Citylaunched the Energy Smart Awards. In 2012,26 commercial building owners, managersand tenants were recognized by the Cityand celebrated by their peers. The SecondAnnual Energy Smart Awards will take placein fall 2013. Owners can enter their buildingsin the competition by visitingwww.Cityof-Berkeley.info/benchmarking_buildings.
lluminating University Avenue and Sea-wall Drive at the Berkeley Marina are 75newly installed light emitting diode (LED)streetlights. These lights cut energy use andenergy costs in half and provide better vis-ibility. Next year, LED’s will replace existingstreetlights on Telegraph Avenue betweenBancroft Avenue and Dwight Way. Withstreetlights making up over 30% of the Citygovernment’s electricity load, the Cityplans to upgrade all 7,600 streetlights.
he beautiful new branch libraries are aresult of the $26 million Library Bond Mea-sure passed by Berkeley voters in 2008. TheNorth and Claremont Branches reopenedin the spring of 2012 after undergoing sub-stantial renovation, and the South Branch/Tool Lending Library reopened just this pastMay. The West Branch Library is scheduledto reopen by the end of the year.The upgrades to the branch libraries weredesigned to improve visitor comfort andaccessibility, make the buildings seismicallysafe, create adequate space for commu-nity use, and conserve natural resources.For example, the new West Branch Librarywill join a handful of libraries in the nationthat are net-zero energy performers. Theclever design incorporates natural ventila-tion, radiant heating, and daylighting tominimize the energy load. Solar panels willoffset the remaining energy demand. Abuilding performance dashboard will pro-vide visitors with a real-time snapshot of thebuilding’s energy use and production.
How households use water